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Are We Seeing The End Of The Ridgewell Era?

Let's talk about the Ridgewell sized elephant in the room...

MLS: Orlando City SC at Portland Timbers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time to talk about Liam Ridgewell and where he stands right now as a Portland Timber. We know he’s in the doghouse and no one is sure why except Gio Savarese and Ridgewell himself. Who knows how long this will last?

The captain has failed to travel with the team since the drubbing in New Jersey, where he showed he didn’t want to be there. Who could blame him really, my Dad always told me “New Jersey is the armpit of America”.

Seriously though.

What is going on? Your guess is as good as mine, and this must stem from more than New Jersey. If it was just that, we would have more than likely seen him feature in at least one of the last two games.

Now according to Coach Giovanni Savarese, Ridgewell is still an important cog for the Portland Timbers.

Here’s an example, in talking about the Chicago match.

”We wanted to go with the 18 that we felt needed to travel this particular time,” said Savarese about last week’s game against the Chicago Fire. “As I continue to say, Ridgewell is very important for us. I think sooner than later, you’ll see that. We believe 100 percent in his capabilities. He’s been always a very important component of this club. He’s training very well, so soon I think he’s going to be back for sure.”

- Coach Giovanni Savarese, Source: Oregon Live

Emphasis mine.

Sooner rather than later? Thanks for clearing that up, coach.

Savarese left him off the squad for Dallas and Chicago – keep in mind he’s fully match fit. We’ll see this weekend if Ridgy is left out again as the season opening road trip stops in Florida to take on Orlando City SC.

Some point to Ridgewell’s use of social media as proof that he’s more interested in his swimwear line and golf. I’m not down with that, if he’s got a day off – more power to him. Though if I’m honest, if I was in the dog house two weeks in row, I’d tend to keep a low profile.

But that’s just me.

So, what is it then? I think it’s a clash of new and old. Ridgewell was a “Porter guy” and used to the way things used to be. Savarese has come in and, rightly so, is making the team his. You see this from time to time, veteran player clashes with the new coach, etc.

There’s a lot of speculation here, because that’s all we got. Could we be seeing the end of the “Ridgewell Era” and will he be gone come summer? Soon to be released? Become a bench player? Get his starting role and armband back? Or does Gio strip him of his captaincy?

I’m not here to bash the guy, but the team seems to be doing okay in his absence. Bill Tulioma has shown that he is more than capable of playing centerback in the MLS and has paired well with Mabiala. This is a pair I’d like to continue to see on a weekly basis, which leaves Ridgewell the odd duck out.

So let’s be honest here, Ridgewell isn’t getting any younger; he turns 34 in July.


End Of An Era?

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